Deja Vu

08-30-2015From the Pastor's DeskRev. Msgr. Ellsworth R. Walden

Deja vu are two French words that express the feeling that something we are experiencing in the present moment has happened before. Great countries and civilizations as well as powerful countries that were feared have come and gone in human history. The Greeks in history more than 2,000 years ago were great philosophers and intellectuals, but they lost their commitment to the truths needed to sustain their empire and fell apart. The same thing happened to the Roman Empire almost 2,000 years ago. In recent history we have seen the evil of the Nazi empire in Germany in the 1930s and 1940s cause much death and destruction before they were defeated in World War II. The USSR collapsed because they were suppressing their people. Is our nation which we love and cherish next because we are losing our moral compass?


Catholics for Freedom of Religion

08-23-2015From the Pastor's DeskBarbara Samuell's, president of Catholics for Freedom of Religion

In our Aug 23, 30 and Sep 6 bulletins, Barbara Samuells will be writing the column usually written by Fr. Walden as we prepare for a visit from Tom Renker, general counsel for the Diocese of Rockville Centre, on Sep 10. Mr. Renker will discuss the threats we face to our religious freedoms.

Today, here in the Unites States, our freedoms of speech, conscience and religion are under dire attack. A culture turned disrespectful and even hostile to religion acquiesces, under the charade of political correctness, to those who vilify and even discriminate against religious persons, practices and institutions.


Agents of Free Will

08-16-2015From the Pastor's DeskRev. Msgr. Ellsworth R. Walden

When the scandal about clergy abusing children came to the forefront in 2001 the press exposed the evil dramatically and constantly. There is no excuse for the abuse that took place - it was evil and sinful. Not only was it a problem for the Church, it is also a problem for all levels of society. This injustice against young people has heightened our awareness to the dangers that they can be exposed to and has led us in the Church to educate, do background checks, and do anything we can to make sure this evil will not happen again. Sadly in our society the Internet has become a tool abusers use to seek out victims. A few months ago we had a workshop for priests where the presenter was a former undercover cop investigating and arresting child abusers. The sites on the Internet are many and used for truly evil purposes. Child abusers are present in every economic level of our society. There is still much work that has to be done.


Blessed and Broken

08-09-2015From the Pastor's DeskRev. Msgr. Ellsworth R. Walden

People and experiences are the greatest influences on us as human beings. They can change us for the better and even the best or they change us for the worst.

I am writing this column and you are reading it because we have all been influenced and changed by the presence of Jesus in our lives. As we read and reflect on the Gospels we see how the Apostles and the other disciples grew in their knowledge, understanding, and commitment to Jesus. Their journey to faith had many twists and turns as does ours. They went from being curious observers, to being awe struck by the words and actions of Jesus, and as we saw in the Gospel readings from the previous two Sundays, to being preachers of His Good News and dispensers of God’s healing, love, and mercy. But there was also disappointment and confusion when Jesus was arrested and crucified. But that was not the end. Jesus rose from the dead and came back to share this new life with them. That final act as a human being, His death, was defeated by His Resurrection. Now they knew more than ever His power over sin and evil and His desire to share that new life with them.


A Catholic Identity

07-26-2015From the Pastor's DeskRev. Msgr. Ellsworth R. Walden

When I went to the Seminary of the Immaculate Conception in 1965, I was a fellow student with men from both the Diocese of Rockville Centre and the Diocese of Brooklyn. The men from Brooklyn would almost always introduce themselves by telling me their name and what parish they were from. For example they would say, “Hello I am Joe from St. Michael’s or George from St. Mary’s.” They did not identify where their actual homes were by saying Queens or Brooklyn, but by indicating what parish they were from. What a wonderful example of identifying oneself as Catholic.


Seeing the Lord

07-26-2015From the Pastor's DeskRev. Msgr. Ellsworth R. Walden

“I have seen the Lord!” (John 20:18) These are the words we heard proclaimed in the Gospel this past Wednesday on the feast of St. Mary Magdalene. In this Gospel passage we see Mary Magdalene going to the tomb of Jesus on the first Easter Sunday morning. Her sadness and sorrow caused by the great injustice Jesus suffered in being crucified are compounded when she finds the tomb empty. Now she thinks someone has stolen His body; even in death His body cannot be left in peace. But then the miraculous occurs. The Risen Christ appears to her. Once she recognizes Him she is overjoyed and goes as Jesus asks her and tells the Good News of the Resurrection to His followers. What greater words could she proclaim with joy than, “I have seen the Lord!”


Building the Kingdom of God

07-19-2015From the Pastor's DeskRev. Msgr. Ellsworth R. Walden

This past Monday there was an article in the paper about a space craft called New Horizons that was launched nine and a half years ago, has traveled more than three billion miles, and will come within 7,767 miles of what we now call the dwarf planet Pluto. It is amazing that a human designed and fabricated machine could go so far, last so long in its journey, and send back information on this remote planet and its moon in our universe. We can certainly do astonishing things as human beings.


Love and Truth

07-12-2015From the Pastor's DeskRev. Msgr. Ellsworth R. Walden

Love and truth are the foundation of our lives with God and our lives with one another. There is no greater example of living the truth with love than Jesus. He was sought out again and again because He spoke and lived the truth with love and loved like no one else ever did - unconditionally and mercifully. Mercy does not deny the truth, but forgives, encourages, inspires and enlightens. On June 29th we celebrated the feast of Saints Peter and Paul. Here are two people loved and trusted by Jesus to continue His work of bringing God’s kingdom into the world. Jesus’ love for them and trust in them transformed them into great apostles. But before they became great apostles they had to accept their own sinfulness. Peter denied Jesus three times.


We Are Challenged

07-05-2015From the Pastor's DeskRev. Msgr. Ellsworth R. Walden

How frightening and terrible it is to read and watch reports of Christians being persecuted and martyred in the Middle East. Our fellow Christians are being deprived of their rights and the opportunity to live what they believe. We continue our prayers for them.


Turning to God in Good Times and in Bad

06-28-2015From the Pastor's DeskRev. Msgr. Ellsworth R. Walden

Who is the first person we turn to in times of need, help, or distress? Usually it is someone we know and love. At other times it is someone in a helping profession or mechanical business. My father was an auto mechanic. Whenever we had any problems with our cars, he would always figure out what was wrong. Not only did he fix our cars, but his mechanical mind and ability enabled him to fix and repair household appliances, plumbing, and electrical problems. Not only was he a good mechanic, he was a wonderful father who worked and sacrificed much to take care of us. He was so happy to be a father and husband and we were blessed by his abilities and most especially his love and goodness.


Have Courage!

06-21-2015From the Pastor's DeskRev. Msgr. Ellsworth R. Walden

Fear not! Do not be afraid! Have courage! These words are spoken frequently in the gospels. Today's gospel recounts the experience of the disciples of Jesus getting into a boat with Him and journeying across a lake. Suddenly a storm comes up and they fear for their lives. They wake Jesus who is sleeping and He calms the wind and the waves. He then asks them, "Why are you terrified? Do you not yet have faith?" It is faith in Jesus that has enabled countless believers throughout history to face even death itself with faithfulness to Him who is the Way, the Truth, and the Life. We have seen that in our time as Christians are brutally executed in the Middle East simply because they are followers of Jesus. What courage they have. What faithfulness to who they are as followers of Jesus.


Bearing Fruit

06-14-2015From the Pastor's DeskRev. Msgr. Ellsworth R. Walden

One of joys of driving out to the Eastern End of Long Island on the North Fork this time of year is being able to buy fresh strawberries. I find them red all the way through and very delicious. At other times of the year, we buy berries that are picked in other parts of the country a little before they are ripe so they can be sent to the stores and not spoil. The local seeds blossom into berry filled plants that are a delight to eat.


A Blessing to be on the Inside

06-07-2015From the Pastor's DeskRev. Msgr. Ellsworth R. Walden

One of the businesses we have today that we seldom saw years ago is the gyms that so many people join to work out and try to stay physically fit and healthy. In going to one of the local gyms to work out and try to stay fit, I meet many parishioners who are trying to do the same. It is good to greet one another and enjoy each others' company. Today we celebrate the Feast of the Body and Blood of Christ. In the wonderful Sacrament of the Eucharist we have the very Body and Blood of Jesus Himself. How blessed we are and how good it is that He offers Himself to us. As the Way, the Truth, and the Life, He is vitally important to our spiritual life and fitness. As much as we belong to the Catholic Church, as the Church we are the Body and Blood of Jesus, His giving presence, in today's world. The health and life of the Church is centered on the presence of Jesus in the life-giving Sacrament of the Eucharist. The health and life of the Church depends on the way we live our faith everyday.